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Muni bond volume falls in 2017, including for education

U.S. municipal bond volume totaled $187.2 billion in the first half of 2017, representing a 13% decline from the first half of 2016, according to Thomson Reuters. The decrease was due to a precipitous drop in muni bond refinancings, and new money issuance was up 8.7%.

  • Education: Municipal bonds issued for education purposes totaled $62.1 billion in the first half, which was down 10.4% over the year-earlier period. On the other hand, bonds dedicated to student loans rose 62.2%.
  • Biggest loser: Municipal bonds dedicated to electric power, which dropped 55%.
  • Caveat: The first half figure obscures a decent rebound in Q2 over a sluggish Q1, with Q2 2017 beating each of the prior two quarters in terms of both volume and number of transactions (albeit still falling well short of Q2 2016 on both metrics).